A 33-year-old man who was rescued by Las Vegas firefighters from a smoke-choked hotel room is facing arson and attempted murder charges in a fire last month that caused minor damage on an unfinished floor but forced the evacuation of dozens of guests from upper floors at the Golden Nugget casino, a fire official said Monday.
Jerod Pressnell was in custody under guard at a Las Vegas hospital, but fire spokesman Tim Szymanski said he will face charges that could get him decades in state prison.
"It was definitely intentional," Szymanski said of the March 15 fire that caused only $1,000 worth of damage.
A motive and method for starting the fire wasn't disclosed. However, Szymanski said arson investigators determined that a hotel safety system had been tampered with before the fire.
Automatic sprinklers snuffed out flames minutes before Pressnell was rescued by firefighters in a locked room filled with boxes of soggy and smoldering linen and bedding on the unoccupied 22nd floor of the casino's 25-story Rush Tower.
No one else was hurt.